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    Monster Catfish!

    Discussion in 'Catfish' started by necrocanis, Jul 10, 2006.

    1. necrocanis

      necrocanis Catfish God
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      Attention all moderators!
      I am writing this hopefully to go in as a sticky in the catfish section! Everyone please feel free to add or comment on anything that is listed in here! I know that everyone
      from time to time gets catfish fever, and wants a cute lil wiskered friend to go in their aquarium! To those of who know about catfish that's fine, just make sure that your
      future fish keeping plans include something big enough to house a catfish the size of which your's will attain! I intend to discuss many species in here over the future months! Main species that will excede 2ft. in length! If anyone wishes to add other smaller catfish do it elsewhere! I am trying to save people some heartache, money, and ultimately hopefully save some fish' life! So if you want to buy a catfish please feel free to ask about it here, or look for the species allready listed! So here goes! Again this information
      is comming from different sources under my own research! Some websites information is taken from, and also good resources for more info: www.fishbase.org,
      www.planetcatfish.com, www.scotcat.com. These are just a few well noted ones, there are many others! Please feel free to post links in this thread to other very informational websites! Please exclude sites with fish for sale as the main topic! I will put pics of the fish listed below for reference, please feel free to add some pics!
      1st monster catfish!
      Red tail catfish
      Phractocephalus hemioliopterus
      Adult length: 3 1/2 - 5 ft.
      Adult weight: 50- 100 lbs.
      Size commonly sold in stores: 3-5 inches
      Native to the amazon this attractive catfish are quite common in the aquarium trade! If you find yourself face to face with this the emperore of the amazon, do yourself
      a favor! Think about the size this fish attains, and how fast it grows! Commonly we here at MFK have all read stories of baby RTC(red tail catfish) growing at rates of
      1-3 inches per month! I personally had one of these fish that grew from 6 inches to 22 inches within a year! At 2 ft long this fish probably wieghs around 10-15 lbs. They can live well over 20 years, do you really have the space to house one of this magnificient fish? If so then I applaud you and say there is probably not a better fish to own! Go for it, but if you cannot provide a large indoor pond, enormous aquarium, or outdoor heated pond, then look for something smaller! You will find yourself going through thousands of dollars worth of aquariums to upgrade for this beast. Now as an alternative to aquariums, indoor ponds can be quite affordable to the average person! So there is hope after all. You should allready have one setup or be ready to have one setup within a year of getting this fish. I would say that a 6ft dia pond would last many years, but eventually even this would probably be too small to house one comfortably. If circular go for at least 8 ft dia, and possibly 10 or 12 ft. dia. This will allow your fish to live in comfort til the end! height doesn't matter as much. An adult fish is probably best kept with water height of 2 1/1-3ft. deep range. Also if buying this fish do not! I repeat do not listen to what your lfs(local fish store) tells you about it! They are there to make a dollar, and will tell you everything that you want to hear about it! Like that it will only grow to the size of it's environment! I am here to tell you nothing could be further from the truth! If you put this monster in a 10 gal aquarium it will grow to the full length and probably die from stress or poluted water. If you put it in a 55 gal you are not giving it anymore room from front to back, only from side to side. It will have trouble turning around within the first 6 months of having it! Think that huge 125 gal tank would do one for life! Try again you might get away with it for a year or maybe two, but several things will end up happening. The fish will not be able to turn properly and will become overstressed and die, or the fish will literally bust through the side of the aquarium glass. There are several noted cases on the internet with a quick search where this catfish has swam through the side of a tank! They have an extremely large thick skull. The bone can be over 1 inch thick in the head of an adult! That's almost bullet proof folks. So what's the minimum aquarium size you ask! That all depends on the dimensions of the aqaurium. Certainly you will either have to make a custom one yourself or have one contracted! You are looking at major $$$$! Your footprint(width versus length) should probably be a minimum of 4ft. x 10 ft. to provide adequate room for the fish to swim and for the fish to turn! Just hope your fish doesn't hit the 4 ft. mark or you will be upgrading again! Also keep in mind that if the fish can fit in it's mouth, regardless of what size it is, they will eat it! With all said here, if you are still dead set on getting this fish, I say go for it just make sure that you are prepared financially and space wise for this wonderful fish!:thumbsup:

      RTC.JPG
       
    2. necrocanis

      necrocanis Catfish God
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      2nd monster catfish
      Tiger shovelnose
      3 species listed(revised there are now 7 species listed for this Genus)
      most common- Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum
      other species:
      P. tigrinum, P. corruscans, P. magdaleniatum, P. metaense, P. orinocoense, P. punctifer, P. reticulatum
      Adult length: 3 1/2 - 5 ft.
      Adult weight: 30-60 lbs.
      Aggression: Only aggressive when it feels another fish is small enough to fit in it's mouth. Have kept them together, and with other similar sized species with great success. When well fed should leave other similar sized fish alone.
      Size commonly sold in stores: 3-5 inches
      This fish is yet another favorite of unsuspecting aquarists! While there is some difference between the three species we will not worry about that here. They all have the same basic build and about the same adult size! Read on the housing requirements for the RTC. TSN (tiger shovelnose) have about the same minimum requirements as does the RTC. One major difference is that this fish is more active and more skittish than RTC. You will also note that even though they attain about the same length they weigh less. It is a long lean fish, and is thus more active. Provide plenty of hiding spots for this fish to dart to when the lights are on and when they are spooked. They become quite tame with age, as does the RTC. I pet and feed mine by hand. It is probably best to have the same minimum footprint as the RTC. 4ft x 10ft. for aquariums, and around 8-12ft dia for ponds. Be carefull of spooking these fish, for they will smash into the side of the tank and break their premaxillae(the front of their mouth). When stressed both this fish and RTC will shed their slime coats and sometimes eat it. Maintaining water quality is of great importance, as with any fish. Makes a good tankmate for RTC, but this would require them to both be about the same size and the tank require would be truely massive! Again if you can house it then be my guest, and enjoy this beautifully striped fish! I hope that this is informative for anyone looking to buy one! Their growth rate being comparable to the RTC it will grow from 1-3 inches per month when little, and it tappers off to around 1/2-1 inch per month after they attain 2 ft. and very much slower after 3ft.

      tsn.jpg
       
    3. necrocanis

      necrocanis Catfish God
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      3rd monster catfish
      TSN x RTC hybrid
      Pseudoplatystoma sp. x Phractocephalus hemioliopterus
      Adult length: Estimated: 4-6ft.
      Adult weight: Estimated: 45-90lbs.
      Size commonly sold in stores: 3-5 inches

      This amazing fish is a hybrid(cross breed between two different species of animal), of the RTC and TSN. From all accounts it was origionally bred for fish farms in South America. Since first production there has been a steady flow of these into the aquarium scene. One thing to note on this fish is that it is slightly less bulky in build than the RTC. The growth rate of this fish is astounding. Hybrids are subject to what is commonly referred to as hybrid vigor. In a sense this means that the fish will grow larger, faster, and be more immune to desiese than either adult fish. I am not exactly sure which parent species has to be female to produce a superior strain, but I do know that one way you get a superior fast growing fish, and the other way you get a flop, stunted sickly fish. So you can be assured if they are bred for food they are the superior strain and thus have the potential to grow enormous! Commonly when lions and tigers are crossed to for a liger the offspring can outweigh either parent by as much as 2 or 3 times. I conservatively put the estimates of this fish somewhere between the adult sizes of both parents, but I have never heard of anyone raising this fish to it's full potential yet! I have one currently at 28" and know of several other memebers with ones close to 30". These are all young fish around 2 years old or less. So only time will tell exactly how big they will get. I would personally go for the minimum tank requirements of the RTC, but don't be suprised if hybrid vigor bites you where it hurts and you end up having to upgrade yet again! So minimum requirements. Footprint should be 4ft. x 10ft., or for pond 8-12ft. dia. these fish are very active, and from my expirience do not spoke very easily. Mine eats from my hand and is able to be peted. Growth rate for a baby is 1 1/2-3 1/2 inches per month, and may go more than that. After 2ft. mine slowed to 1" per month, but at 28" shows no signs of slowing anytime soon! Just to give you an idea, I feed him somewhere between 1-3 lbs. of shrimp per week, and he's nowhere near full grown. I also feed live crayfish, stream caught(quarantine for two weeks first) minnows, and white suckers, hotdogs, beef heart, worms, mussels, and various fruits! The coloration and pattern is amazing on this fish. Again if you can afford the tanks or ponds and have the means get this fish if not go for something smaller! They are territorial, and will eat anything that is smaller than them. I sometimes feed mine 14 inch long suckerfish, and he will eat 2-3 at a time. So please don't keep it with smaller fish. This fish will bring you much enjoyment for years to come. As with most catfish you can hear them grunt when aggitated, even in the water. It sounds like a deep rumble in the water and a week bark outside of water. Do not overfeed as with all fish. These larger catfish will get blockages, and get sick in your water! It's not very fun to do large water changes on the size tank these need so watch what you feed, and don't put anything in your tank that can break or be swallowed! I suggest only large rocks or sand for substrate. Enjoy, but remember I warned you!
       
    4. necrocanis

      necrocanis Catfish God
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      I'll do more later! Tired of typing! Hope this gets stickied so that all those people that have questions can just refere to this!
       
    5. CichlidAddict

      CichlidAddict MFK Members

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      Great info on these monsters!
      I was thinking about getting a RTC X TSN but he'd outgrow my 240 gallon pretty quickly. I better get to work on a pond... :eek:
       
    6. necrocanis

      necrocanis Catfish God
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      I wouldn't think of having mine in a 240 gal. He's less than 2 years old and 28".
       
    7. Gr8KarmaSF

      Gr8KarmaSF 1 is the magic number
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      nice info, thanks for sharing....
       
    8. necrocanis

      necrocanis Catfish God
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      4th monster catfish
      Iridescent shark/ Pangasius catfish
      Pangasius hypothalamus
      additional species sold under this name:
      Pangasius pangasius

      P. hypothalamus/ P. stuchi formerly
      Adult length: 3-4ft.
      Adult weight: 75-100lbs.
      Size commonly sold in stores: 2-4 inches
      P. pangasius
      Adult length:.4-5ft.
      Adult weight: 100-150lbs.

      These asian beauties are sold to aquarists under the guise of irridescent sharks. They are commonly sold in wal-mart, petco, petsmart, and any local fish store anywhere in the world just about! The price tags cleaverly cover up their true size by displaying that the max size is anywhere from 8-16 inches. This leaves the buyer thinking they are getting a fish that can be housed in a relatively small aquarium. Not only are they being missled, but often times there are mixed shipments of different species of fish in the same store, under the name of irridescent shark. Either way you look at it, if you buy a fish from the family Pangasius, you are getting a monster. These are behemoth fish. I use sizes found on aquarium information websites, but there are many reports of some of these species reaching over 200 lbs. Besides the fact of their size, they are tireless fish that never stop swimming. They require massive amounts of space for swimming. They are also a schooling fish. Can you imagine having a school of fish that can get over 100 lbs a piece? By all means again if you have the money and the space get you a school and show the world what you have done, but if you don't then please do not purchase this fish. True they grow slower than other large catfish, but by the very nature of their adult size the fact that they are slow growers should tell you something about their life span. What's the min tank size? I would suggest no less than 5-6ft. x 12-16ft. Do you really need a tank that size for a fish that gets around the same size as the RTC? The answer is yes. Thesse fish swim constantly and need room to move their massive bulk. They become very nervous and aggitated in cramp spaces, and will become unhealthy over time! I am sure that if you are able to house this fish it will truely be a sight to see years from now when they are fully grown in your monster tank! As for ponds they are a taller catfish that do not allways hang on the bottom for them to be comfortable I would suggest min. pond size of 10-14ft dia. with a depth of at least 4 ft. that would be for just one in my opinion. Also if you are buying it for it's looks don't worry about that, as they grow their color fades from that beautiful dark black to a light grayish to dark grayish coloration. Why would wal-mart, and all the other pet stores want to decieve us on the size of this fish? Several reasons: A) most people that buy fish from wal-mart are first time fish keepers. B)they want to make money, and advertising a fish that you are selling to first time buyers gets to 5ft. would not get them very far. C)they don't care about you or the fish, they care about making more money! Still don't believe me go and look at some asian guided fishing websites. They all advertise catching these larger than life fish! So if you still want it go for it, but I hope you got a strong foundation for that tank or pond!

      Pangasius hypothalomus.jpg
       
    9. necrocanis

      necrocanis Catfish God
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      5th monster catfish
      Paroon shark
      Pangasius sanitwongsei
      Adult length-6 1/2-8ft.
      Adult wieght-200-350(possibly400+)lbs.
      Size sold in stores-typically not found in your average fish store,
      but around 3-8inches.

      This is yet another beautiful asian catfish. It has long trailers on the front edge of it's pectoral, and dorsal fins. This adds to the actractiveness of this magnificient catfish. This catfish is a true monster. This is one of the only species of catfish that I have actually found documentation of it killing a human. It was said that a 3 meter(9ft.) paroon shark was accidentally netted in a fisherman's net. Having a great deal of respect for this fish in their native land the fisherman tried to free the fish from his net without harming it. He dove in and tried to wrestle the fish free. So that you know a fish that size has 2 1/2ft. long pectoral spines. As the man was struggling with the fish it impelled him deeply in his chest, puncturing his lungs. The man died and the fish was later freed from the net. There you have it monster if I ever heard of one. As you can see there are fish documented over the max size I give here, but for our purposes most fish will never see those amazing sizes and take decades to grow that large. You are looking at a fish that may in fact outlive you. The actual lifespan is a topic of debate, but for sure they will live well past 20 years, and possibly 30-40 years. There is an od shaped paroon that is commonly for sale in the asian aquarium scene, called the short bodied paroon shark, or balloon paroon. I have no definite answers on how big this morph of this catfish can get, but I have read posts from several members with it over 30 inches. Now down to the good stuff. This is one of the largest catfish(freshwater fish) in the world. I know many people would love to have one of the largest catfish in the world as pets. There is many problems with this however. Think of this as a jumbo sized iridescent shark. The aquarium needed for this fish would be monsterous. You would probably have to take out a loan against your car or house just to buy the glass for it. The minimum aqaurium size I would recomend would be 8-10ft. x 16-20ft. The glass would probably need to be 1 inch thick or more. I don't even know that you can buy glass panes that big without a custom order. You would also have to spend thousands of dollars to reinforce your floors if on the second floor, to ensure that you will not have a failure of your floor. Min pond size for this fish would be astonishing. I recommend no less than 14-20ft. dia ponds for one of these fish. With a minimum height of around 7-10ft. Why the big height you ask. This fish is very tall bodied. A full grown fish would probably be around 3-3 1/2 ft. tall without the dorsal spine add another 2 ft for that. Plus this is not your bottom swimming catfish, it will be very active on all levels of the tank. tank maintanence would be nearly impossible without a dive suit. Hope you are rich because the tank required would cost a fortune. I agree that there are some people capable of keeping this fish, but they are at a bare minimum when it comes to our hobby. Please leave this fish to the experts, and the rich! If you are one of them grow one out and show us pics! Please be carefull when cleaning the tank though, those spines are really sharp!

      paroon 1.gif

      paroon 2.jpg

      short bodied paroon!.jpg
       
    10. necrocanis

      necrocanis Catfish God
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      Just wondering if I could get some feedback from you guys! Would you like to see me do more of these! When I am back from work I am planning on doing the channel catfish, bagarius yarelli, jau, ect. I am just hoping that I can help someone make an informed decision before they buy one of these magnificent beasts! Also would take suggestions for a monster catfish you would like me to do a profile on!
       

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